May 13, 2016
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Sophomore right-hander Alex Lange limited Tennessee to one run through eight innings Friday night, and shortstop Kramer Robertson provided the game-winning RBI as 11th-ranked LSU edged the Volunteers, 2-1, at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
LSU increased its win streak to six games, and five of the six victories have come by one run. The Tigers have three straight one-run wins, the first time that’s happened since March 18, 19 and 22, 1986.
LSU and Tennessee meet in Game 2 of the series at 1 p.m. ET (12 p.m. CT) Saturday in a contest that will be televised on the SEC Network. The game can be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, and live audio and live stats are available at www.LSUsports.net.
Lange (7-3) limited the Vols to one run on four hits in eight innings with six walks and seven strikeouts, firing a season-high 121 pitches.
“That was a very important win for our team, and Alex Lange again demonstrated why he is such a great pitcher,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Tennessee has a very potent offensive club, including three players with 50 or more RBI, and Alex battled them throughout the entire night. He didn’t get off to a great start, but he continued to pitch with intensity, and he seemed to gain strength as the game wore on. Our team plays with a lot of tenacity, and Alex Lange embodies that attitude.”
Right-hander Hunter Newman recorded his fifth save of the season, retiring the side in order in the bottom of the ninth, including two strikeouts.
Tennessee reliever Andy Cox (3-6) was charged with the loss as he gave up a run on two hits in 1.1 innings with no walks and one strikeout.
Volunteer starter Will Neely pitched effectively, limiting LSU to one run on five hits in seven innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
Tennessee took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when catcher Tyler Schultz walked, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Max Bartlett and scored on centerfielder Brodie Leftridge’s RBI double.
The Tigers tied the game in the third on a solo homer by second baseman Cole Freeman, his first career LSU dinger.
Robertson’s two-out single in the eighth against Tennessee reliever Andy Cox gave the Tigers a 2-1 advantage. The base hit scored Freeman from second base, who was hit by a pitch from Cox to lead off the inning, and he advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by rightfielder Antoine Duplantis.